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VMware ESX compatiable SATA RAID Controller, but must fit into a PICe2 x16 75w Slot or perhaps an AGP slot?

Posted on 2010-11-27
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Greetings all-
     I have been looking at the ESX HCL list and I am having a hard time finding a compatible SATA RAID controller for my ESX server.  I am looking to install it into a Dell T3400 workstation.  

I currently have the AGP slot and a PCIe2 x16 75watt slots open.  The card that I have been finding are for the PCIe2.1 spec which is basically a 64-bit card and I do not have a slot that those cards will not fit in my machine as they need the extended length PCI slot mostly available in servers.  Any guidance would be greatly appreciated!

~~Sean
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Question by:Daeta42
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David earned 501 total points
ID: 34223352
Here is the definitive list ..

http://www.vmware.com/resources/compatibility/search.php

One of the places where people also go wrong, is assuming that after they choose the RAID controller, that the RAID controller will work with all disk drives.  In particular, the general constraint is that SAS, SCSI, FC disks will always  be OK, but if you are using SATA, you had better get enterprise class SATA designed for use behind RAID controllers.  If you don't, you risk data loss.  You will note that with the Dell PERC family that they do not even bother to certify consumer class disks, they sell enterprise drives with their own firmware on them.  

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by:Paul Solovyovsky
Paul Solovyovsky earned 501 total points
ID: 34223927
I believe that 2.0 is backward compatible with 1.0 PCIe slots. If so this should as it will do SATA or SAS drives and has a slot for BBWC

http://cgi.ebay.com/HP-Smart-Array-E200-RAID-Controller-/180578747634?pt=COMP_EN_Networking_Components&hash=item2a0b5504f2

Check it out. For $25 not a bad controller
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by:Virtalicious
Virtalicious earned 498 total points
ID: 34234479
Also take a look at these (Anything  4.0 should in theory work with 4.1... in theory)

http://ultimatewhitebox.com/ 
http://www.vm-help.com/esx40i/esx40_whitebox_HCL.php

-Virt
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Author Comment

by:Daeta42
ID: 34332236
This one is loaded...  I have tried 3 different SATA controllers and still a no go.  I am perplexed...  I found a page when searching that basically said that since 4.1's release alot of old cards are not obslete...  I wish I could find it again so I could show you all...  Sigh...  This is a pain...  I just want my Dev box back...  Anyone have some rock solid evidence of a working card?  

Tried so far:
Onboard Intel Perc6  (FAIL)
Intel Perc9  (Soft Fail, it installs but doesnt run after reboot)
MegaRAID SATA 150-6  (FAIL)
HP Smart Array 5300  (FAIL)

(Fail = No install, no reconization of drives or raid during install)

Thanks!

~~Sean
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Author Closing Comment

by:Daeta42
ID: 34440104
Thanks for the info all.  I ended up scraping the whole thing and just bought a server to be my dev box.  I came across a page and I wish I would have saved it.  It basically said that with the inception of 4.1 that a lot of old raid controllers were going to become obselete according to VMware.  It had 100+ cards listed...  Man I wish I could find that again.  sigh...

Thanks all for the help though!
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